Unilever to Sell Lipton Tea to CVC Capital for $5 Billion
Unilever PLC has agreed to sell the bulk of its tea business to CVC Capital Partners for €4.5 billion, equivalent to more than $5 billion, the consumer-product giant’s latest move to jettison slower-growing parts of its business. Unilever is currently the world’s largest tea maker, with brands including Lipton, Brooke Bond and PG Tips brands. On Thursday, Unilever announced the sale of the tea business was part of its broader strategy to focus its portfolio on higher-growth categories. The company has come under pressure of late to revive growth, with its share price falling over the past year and analysts saying it has underperformed rivals during the pandemic in areas such as hygiene and packaged food. The company, which owns Dove soap, Hellmann’s mayonnaise and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, has in recent years sought to accelerate growth by buying up a range of businesses in on-trend categories. Those have included plant-based foods brand Vegetarian Butcher, healthy snacks maker Graze, and a string of upscale skin care and vitamins brands.